Jan Tinbergen’s speech at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm, December 10, 1969
Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I feel that I should speak in the name of three entities, if I may say so. First of all in the name of all economists, that it looks as if from now on economics has become a grown-up science. We are very grateful to Riksbanken and the Nobel foundation for having agreed that with Riksbanken’s gift and applying the rules of the Nobel Foundation it will be possible in the future to have a prize for economics, the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics. Within the group of economists I think I should speak a special word in the name of those who are calling themselves econometricians, those who apply mathematics and statistics together with economics in order to verify economic theories and therefore, as we think, to contribute to making scientific work possible at a higher stage in economics. But then I would like to add, and here I follow one of my colleagues and predecessors, to say that I myself feel the honour bestowed on an econometrician as an honour bestowed on all the econometricians who from 1930 on have tried to develop this science or this branch of science. It is very difficult indeed to find out who did what. There is only one thing that I would like to add personally. There can be no doubt that Ragnar Frisch was the man who inspired us all in the annual meetings of the econometric society. If we had not had him, certainly econometrics would not have developed in the way it has developed. It is a great pity and a disappointment for us that he could not be here because he has broken his leg and I express the hope that soon he will be able to be here, as I understand is his plan. I would also like to join my colleagues in thanking all of you for the unforgettable days that my family and myself have had here in Stockholm. Thank you very much indeed.